During an interview with ET's Lauren Zima on Wednesday, the longtime Bachelor host confessed he didn't know just how "deep" Peter's mom, Barbara's, disapproval was of her son's new relationship -- and said it has "splintered" the Weber family.
"I thought there was going to be a 'but,'" Harrison explained -- revealing that he speculated Barb might be candid about her initial impression of Madison from their meeting in Australia, but go on to say, "But our son has chosen her, so we're going to give her a chance."
"Instead, it just went deeper off the cliff, and I was shocked. I was sad. I was disappointed in the whole thing, to be honest," he admitted. "Going with my gut instinct in the room, I felt terrible. I felt terrible. And it wasn't anything I could fix."
Barbara -- who begged her son on Monday's episode to choose his other finalist, Hannah Ann -- was the one to lead the applause when Hannah Ann ended her engagement to Weber during Tuesday's finale, Harrison said. Barb rolled her eyes when Madison came back onscreen to try to get a second chance with her son, and then proceeded to say that she doesn't believe their relationship will last.
"I tried to fix it. I tried to save it, because that's kind of my instinct of being a caretaker of like, 'I've gotta put this family back [together].' Because I don't want this family to be hurt. I do like Barb. I think she's a good woman. I think Peter seems like a good guy. But I also love Peter and I think Madison deserves better too," said Harrison, who recently collaborated with Seagram's Escapes on a new Tropical Rosé, now in stores nationwide.
"It's about optics, and it's about how you put things. I'm a firm believer -- you can be right and be completely wrong," he continued. "Look, if he's going to be with her, and they're going to break up, which is what you're predicting, then so be it. Let them go break up! Who is hurt by this? The only harm done last night was this family being splintered last night on my show, and I hated it."
Twitter exploded after Tuesday night's episode, with some fans slamming Barb for coming after Madison in the way that she did. Others applauded her, believing that Peter and Madison really don't have a chance. As for what Peter, Barb and Madison could have done differently during the finale, Harrison joked, "Maybe a holy host of things."
"Madison kind of had her guard up and kind of took a shot too that probably spurred things on. But I will put it back to Barb and to Peter Sr. of like, in that moment, be gracious, just take one for the team and say, 'Look, I don't know if this is going to work out, we're going to do our best and make the best of it for our son,'" he said.
"I'm a dad, so I look at this through my optics and how I would treat my two kids. And I also know that if I tell my daughter, 'You're not allowed to date the tattooed rock star,' what's she going to do? 'But Dad, he loves me!' That's human nature, to protect it, because you don't want to be embarrassed," Harrison explained. "I felt bad for Peter in that moment, having to turn to his mom and say, 'Hey, stop.' Good for him for having that backbone, good for Madison."
For the host, "it just seemed like a really sad situation, and it just kept getting worse." He said he half expected Weber -- who still lives with his parents -- to try to spend the night at his place after the show.
"Because we are neighbors... I fully expected to show up and Peter [be] on my porch, 'Hey, bud... yeah, you can stay here,'" Harrison confessed. "In all honesty, I don't know where he went last night."
"Maybe we had him in a hotel. I don't know if he went back and spent the night with Mom and Dad. If he did, I can't imagine a more uncomfortable [situation]... 'Hey, Mom, can you pass the orange juice? Oh, and thanks for ruining my life,'" he quipped.